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Best and worst travel insurance

We rate cover for travel and reveal the best policies – with detail on medical expenses, cancellation and airline failures

In this article
How do you find the best travel insurance? What are the best travel insurance policies? Covid cover - what our ratings show and don't show
How else can you protect your holiday? How we find the best travel insurance policies

    How do you find the best travel insurance?

    With luck, you'll never need to use your travel insurance. But should disaster strike your long-waited holiday, you'll be glad to have it.

    To help you make the right choice, we've rated hundreds of policies, scrutinising more than 60 areas of cover in each one.  

    It's important to arrange cover as soon as you book your trip, so you're covered in case it's cancelled.

    Here's how to get started:

    1. Check our tables and reviews

    Our experts have assigned each travel insurance policy a policy score, reflecting how comprehensive the cover is, as well as a dedicated Covid cover rating (more on that below).

    If you'd like to learn more, we've created dedicated reviews of the biggest and best insurers. Click on the links in the table below to find them.

    2. Get a quote

    While looking at our reviews, you can get a quote for travel insurance using our partner Confused.com.

    You may be able to save by using multiple comparison sites, while travelers with medical conditions should consider specialised insurers - find our reviews here.

    3. Check the T&Cs

    Before you buy, check the policy wording - being acquainted with it is the only real way of understanding what your policy offers and what it doesn't.

    If there are specific reasons you've bought the cover, check these sections to make sure they align with your expectations. Also check the policy's general exclusions and conditions. If anything in the policy is unclear, contact the insurer.

    Finally, check what protection your holiday provider offers, because if something goes wrong, you may need to seek compensation from them first before your insurer will accept your claim.

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    What are the best travel insurance policies?

    We've compared the policies of more than 70 travel insurance providers to bring you our best and worst travel insurance tables - which list the best policies from each provider.

    Members can log in to see which insurers genuinely stand out. If you're not already a member, join Which? and get full access to these results and all our reviews.

    Brand Policy score Covid Cover rating
    AA Travel Insurance

    ?%

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    Able2Travel

    ?%

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    Admiral

    ?%

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    AllClear

    ?%

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    Alpha

    ?%

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    Annual Travel Insurance

    ?%

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    Avanti

    ?%

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    Avion

    ?%

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    Aviva

    ?%

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    Barclays

    ?%

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    Barrhead Travel

    ?%

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    Big Blue

    ?%

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    Campbell Irvine Ltd

    ?%

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    Cedartree Travel Insurance

    ?%

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    Churchill

    ?%

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    Co-op Insurance Services

    ?%

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    Columbus Direct

    ?%

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    Cover For You

    ?%

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    Direct Line

    ?%

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    Esure

    ?%

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    Can't find the policy you're looking for?

     

    This table lists only the top policy (ranked by policy score) offered by each insurer. However, they might offer other policies with fewer features, often at a lower price.

    We've still scored these policies. You can find the scores in our travel insurer reviews, which cover the biggest and best brands.

    If a brand isn't listed in the table it means it didn't take part in our survey this year and hasn't been reviewed.

     

    How we analyse travel insurance

     

    We analyse and rate 61 key elements of travel insurance policies to come up with the overall policy score. We assess how important each individual element is to travellers when choosing and using a travel insurance policy, and factor this in when calculating our total policy score.

    Initially, we score all of the product elements out of five, reflecting how competitive each provider is in this area compared with other insurers. We then adjust the impact the more and less important elements have on the overall policy score.

    This year, the average policy score across all policies reviewed was 63%

    All ratings are for policies available to new customers, and the details were gathered in a survey carried out in May 2022. The information should be considered correct to then. We will next update our tables in June 2023. 

    Covid cover - what our ratings show and don't show

    All travel policies we looked at offer some element of protection if your holiday is disrupted by Covid – however, the degree of cover varies significantly between providers.

    Most will, for example, pay a cancellation claim if you test positive with the virus and consequently can't travel – but only a minority would pay out if a government lockdown on travel disrupts your plans.

    We've given each policy we've examined one of four Which? Covid-cover ratings:

    • Basic The policy covers you for emergency medical cover if you catch Covid while on holiday 
    • Low In addition to Basic cover, you can claim if you test positive for Covid and are unable to go on your trip.
    • Superior In addition to Low cover, you'll be able to claim for cancellation if you're instructed to self-isolate at home because you've been identified as a contact of someone who tested positive. 
    • Complete In addition to Superior cover, a policy with a Complete rating allows for cancellation if you can't travel because the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against travel to your destination (since you booked the trip) because of Covid, or because of regional or national restrictions on movement. 

    Of the 199 policies we examined, around two thirds now offer Superior level cover, while just nine offer Complete level cover.

    Check the insurer's smallprint

    Importantly, the ratings don't cover all possible ways Covid could interfere with your holiday.

    There can, likewise, be differences with some areas of cover between policies that have the same Covid rating. This means it's crucial to check the terms of any policy before buying it to make sure it's appropriate for you as there will always be some restrictions.

     

    How else can you protect your holiday?

    We think travel insurance is a vital part of your holiday plans, but it doesn't exist in isolation.

    Travel insurers only expect you to claim with them if you've been unable to recover your money through other channels.

    Book with a Which? Recommended holiday provider

    If a package holiday firm cancels your holiday, or airlines can't fulfil flights, you're entitled to a refund by law.

    Unfortunately, in the wake of Covid, not all travel providers fulfilled their legal obligations. For peace of mind, opt for one of our Which? Recommended Providers

    Atol protection

    If you buy a package holiday that includes flights from an Atol protected firm, you'll get your money back if it goes bust. You'll also be repatriated if this happens while you're on holiday.

    Your credit card provider

    If you can, pay for your holiday with a credit card.

    If you pay with a credit card for services costing more than £100 and less than £30,000 that aren't provided as advertised, you can claim the money back from your card supplier if the seller (ie, the holiday company) won't refund you.

    Your bank

    Banks have similar schemes to help you recover money for services that haven't been fulfilled as paid for. These are known as chargeback.

    Chargeback can be used to recover debit and prepaid card payments, as well as credit card payments below £100.

    Banks aren't legally bound to do this in the same way credit card providers are under Section 75, so you should always pay for amounts over £100 with a credit card if possible.

    How we find the best travel insurance policies

    In May 2022, we surveyed 71 insurance companies about 61 different areas of cover from each of their policies. We analysed the data and awarded each policy a policy score.

    A high score indicates that overall, the policy has comparatively high levels of cover. However, when using our tables, you should bear in mind the following:

    • Travel insurance is complex, which means that even if a policy has a high score, it might not include certain elements of cover that you're looking for. You can see at a glance in our tables how each provider's best scoring policy compares for a  selection of features. For a more detailed look at some of the larger and higher-scoring providers, see our travel insurance reviews.    
    • The policy score doesn't examine the insurers' customer service or how much their policies cost.
    • The data was collected in May 2022. We recommend confirming information about a provider's policy directly with it before buying.

    Get a travel insurance quote with Confused.com

     

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